Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Circle of Violence


During my usual morning routine of having a cup or two of coffee and reading the news on-line, I came upon this story in the NZ Herald about the US soldiers now facing possible death sentences for raping and murdering an Iraqi girl and then killing her family. I'm sure it has been all over the news everywhere but I happened to first read about it here. And my heart sank. For the little girl who knew more horror in her short life than I can fathom. For her family. For the soldiers who've seen and committed more violence than, I believe, any human heart can contain in a lifetime without being irreparably damaged. For this insane war.

Now we are killing the people we are sending over to Iraq to kill the people we want killed because they are now killing the wrong people the wrong way. I get that there are “rules of combat” and “military laws” and that we are after the “Axis of Evil” (which would strike me as comic if it wasn’t so damn sad and arrogant!), and all that other rhetoric. But I am confused.

SINCE WHEN HAS VIOLENCE STOPPED VIOLENCE!?!? I mean, REALLY. stopped it? When has it ever ended the cycle of hatred and desire for revenge from the other side? When has it truly soothed the heart of a mourning mother to know that the killer of her baby has been killed? Is that what truly gives her peace in the deepest part of her being? In how many ways, how many languages and how many sacred teachings are we told the same thing, over and over? We cannot do something to another living being without also doing that thing to ourselves.

Is it easy for me to condemn all these actions from my safe and cozy home, with my warm cup of morning coffee? Sure it is. Would I have the inner conviction and strength and faith of Buddha? Jesus? Gandhi? Mother Theresa? Dali Lama? if I was faced with violence and hatred that hit closer to home? I have my serious doubts about that. But I choose to keep my heart open to the possibility that their weapons of choice; prayer and compassion, will win in the end. But to get there, I have to begin by shedding hatred and violence from my own heart. And I haven't even managed to stop eating meat yet.

9 comments:

Sissy B. said...

It's hard to understand what part hatred and violence plays in God's plan...all I can do is work within my own heart and pray for the domino effect...or as my students say...the butterfly effect...one small change that can cause a huge chain of events to occur...I still like my occasional Delmonico Steak...there will always be work for us to do! Thanks so much for your visits and encouragement!!!

Pearl said...

Problem is banging head against same wall leads to impairment that prevents oneself from detecting that this is self-injury.

Cycle of destruction is the snake that eats its tail. It has never created peace.

susie said...

What a sad story about that little girl. :(

You're moving to NZ? COOL! What for? Fun? Work? Both?

kenju said...

Don't beat yourself up over it, Tia. We all have to start somewhere, and some of us take longer than others to get started. It doesn't mean you aren't on the path.

SzélsőFa said...

I also think violence creates violence but, opposed to Sissy B., I doubt hatred and violence would play in any way in God's plans. I firmly believe that hatred and violence is against God's plans - as hatred is against love and violence is against peace.

Tia said...

That is an interesting point Szélsö fa - but can there truly be anything in this world that is against God's plan? The Tao believes that everything is as it is for a reason, and that Yin and Yang exist to balance each other out. Karma speaks of cause and effect. Is violence and hatred against God's plan, or is it another valuable teacher, here to teach us to evolve to another, higher level? "Learning by Doing" as opposed to "being told" what is best for us?.....

Chrysalis said...

I couldn't agree with you more!
Hi from Michele's.

SzélsőFa said...

Tia, I see and understand what you say. I see and tend to support the Tao belief that there's nothing without reason. Then there's the cause and effect thing which I also believe to be true. So it seems that we somehow share grounds, don't we? It's so good to feel this way, isn't it?

To your question I tend to hold my opinion as in my previous comment....

Re: your last question:
I think we are being told, but we (or the vast majority of us) don't listen. Or are not listening enough. So we end up learning by doing.

Chrissie said...

Well said Tia (your comment above) - this is what I believe - visiting from Michele's.
PS
"Axis of Evil" makes me laugh and be sick at the same time....